Mark Richt hugs Maryland OL after he commits to UGA (UPDATED)

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UGA’s biggest overall priority for the remainder of this year’s football recruiting class is a few big men.

The Bulldogs picked up a desperately-needed commitment on the offensive line when Greg Pyke committed to the Bulldogs on Friday. The 6-foot-6, 300-pounder from Baltimore picked UGA over Virginia Tech, Penn State and Maryland.

Pyke and his parents made the 11-hour journey from Baltimore to Athens on Friday, and gave UGA coach Mark Richt the news before leaving campus.

“We were talking, and Coach Richt said, ‘So what are your options with other schools? And what do you think about Georgia?’” Pyke told the AJC. “I said, ‘I like Georgia a lot and I would like to come here.’ [Richt] said ‘So are you verbally committing?’ I said yes and he stood up and hugged me.”

Greg Pyke, an OL from Boys Latin School of Baltimore, Md., committed to UGA

Greg Pyke, an OL from Boys Latin School of Baltimore, Md., committed to UGA

There was a reason for Richt to be so emotional. Offensive linemen are critical to this year’s recruiting class. Less than a month, UGA didn’t have any OL commits. Now with Pyke, the Bulldogs have three, with John Theus of Jacksonville and Bradwell Institute’s Chester Brown as the other.

“It was a combination of things that made me pick UGA — great football, great college, great atmosphere, and I liked the coaches a lot,” Pyke said. “When I visited Georgia with my parents, they liked it, too, which was important to me.

“Another big thing, I will also have the chance to make an impact next year coming in as a freshman, or have the chance to play next year.”

When Pyke attended Mark Richt Camp in June, the UGA coach made it clear how much the Bulldogs needed offensive linemen. He emphasized it again to Pyke and his parents on Friday.

“He said they really needed offensive tackles and guards, that they were graduating a bunch of seniors next year and, due to injury and other things, they really really need some linemen,” said Pyke, who added that he will likely play guard at UGA.

Pyke said he has a 3.0 GPA and will study Business or History in college.

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199 comments Add your comment

PR

August 5th, 2011
5:41 pm

BOOM! Go Dawgs!

Dewnsav

August 5th, 2011
5:43 pm

Much to the chagrin of Tide Roll…Go Dogsl

DogDawg

August 5th, 2011
5:43 pm

Maybe this is why a few of the O linemen in Georgia have committed to other places … The Dawgs have a wider area to look & have not really recruited them.

Poopdawg

August 5th, 2011
5:47 pm

Congratulations Mr. Pyke. Go DAWGS!

RRTDawgs

August 5th, 2011
5:47 pm

This was huge much needed help welcome Pyke and hopefully get Avery Young Go Dawgs !

TampaGator

August 5th, 2011
5:47 pm

To bad…..ACC…..Georgia gets a OT from you (Va. Tech)……and too bad ACC……Bama gets a WR from you (FSU).

Bad day for ACC football…..and good day for the SEC.

Now…..tonight…..is it three in a row? Humprhies chooses Florida over North Carolina?

I think so…..I hope so….and will know at 7. Humphries and Dunker (sp?) as Florida’s bookend OTs for the future….Not bad.

RabidDawgFan

August 5th, 2011
5:49 pm

Great news. We’re going to need the big boys. These guys are huge that we are recruiting as well. Great thing. We need some road graders and some boys to keep Murray upright.

Dbalcer

August 5th, 2011
5:51 pm

TampaGator

August 5th, 2011
5:52 pm

P.S……

Guess who Matt Stinchcomb (sp)….your former great OT……picked to be the surprise team in the SEC this year……

FLORIDA. He said that….if….and that is a big if…..Brantley plays well under Weis’ guidance….and that is a good chance based on Weis’ history with QB development……Florida has the talent to win the SEC East…and maybe more. He is right about that.

Columbus

August 5th, 2011
5:55 pm

Scout.com has him as a 4-star. I also read he is a good Lacrosse player

ugakev

August 5th, 2011
5:55 pm

Absolutely Tampa

1eyedJack

August 5th, 2011
5:56 pm

Thank you sir, may I have another!

Luke

August 5th, 2011
5:56 pm

Congrats to the Dawgs. Picked up a big boy from Hokie country which is easier said then done. Good luck to the kid.

Go Jackets!

dawgcrzy

August 5th, 2011
5:57 pm

Tampa if if’s and buts were candy and nuts oh what a world it would be

Joey

August 5th, 2011
5:58 pm

Looks like one day Richt (or somebody else) will have lots of OL depth.

Columbus

August 5th, 2011
5:59 pm

Weis better stick to the pros. Better yet he better go lose some weight or he wont make it through the season and well that traitor of a coach you got dont know offense. UF might can win the East until the Big Dawgs eats them in October…..

Poopdawg

August 5th, 2011
6:02 pm

Tampagator, even if Brantley pisses his pants every game. The gators could give him a Gatorade bath before the game starts so no one else notices. Anybody know who plays on Thursday sept 1?

Nashville4UGA

August 5th, 2011
6:02 pm

the fact that he had an offer from Wisconsin tells me that he could be a good one. Wisconsin always has a good Oline.

Columbus

August 5th, 2011
6:03 pm

FYI Bama was interested in Pyke also. Offers from Penn St., Michigan, Virginia, Wisconsin, Louisville, etc.

nash

August 5th, 2011
6:06 pm

Great news for the dog nation and, I don’t think this while be the last recruit the dawgs pick up from the northeast this season. Look out for the Yuri Wright, his team mate that play safety (name escapes me sorry) Caleb out of Virginia he high on the dawgs also.

LakeDawg

August 5th, 2011
6:07 pm

Brown Dog

August 5th, 2011
6:08 pm

Congrats to the young man and UGA . . . Start the heat training now!

Columbus

August 5th, 2011
6:08 pm

Can you say 6-6 320. Richt is getting us set up for the next 5-6 years. You CANNOT keep a good man and good coach down for long. Richt is proviing himself and is going to use this adversity of last year to EARN all of your respect. If he doesnt get it, you would NEVER be satisfied anyway. See you in November haters.

TampaGator

August 5th, 2011
6:08 pm

Columbus…..

I think the QB Weis coached at Notre Dame did just fine for himself……made it to the NFL and was a starter last year. And Notre Dame’s problem under Weis was not its offense….it was the defense.

…and I think the Gators will keep Weis….and Weis the Gators….based on the size of the house he just built in Ocala…..on a hudge ranch site.

Also…..Muschamp does not need to know offense…..but Weis certainly does….and Muschamp has turned that over to him and he will work with the DC at Florida (fresh from an outstanding defense at Seattle in the NFL) and Mr. Young….the DL coach…..and the HOF DT from the 49′ers…….to build one of the best defenses in the SEC…..and that….next to Bama….might just be this year.

D.Ellis

August 5th, 2011
6:09 pm

Alot of teams have the talent to win the SEC East. That goes without saying.

As much as you pump how great FLORIDA is up everyones as# on this blog I’m shocked they are picked as a “surprise team” with “the talent to win the east”

Destin Dawg

August 5th, 2011
6:10 pm

congratulations… Greg !! you’ll have an opportunity to play ( start ? ) as a Soph. or R/S frosh… Go dawgs !! Parade mag says ” UGA #2 large State University education.. plus big time sports ” in beautiful Athens, Ga. Go Dawgs !!

LakeDawg

August 5th, 2011
6:10 pm

Tampa Gator

UF could definately be a surprise team. A lot of talent down there. IF everything falls into place it could be a big year in Gainesville. However, that’s a mighty big IF…. new coaching staff in a transition year with a young team playing in the SEC.

italian_29

August 5th, 2011
6:11 pm

Congrats! Welcome to UGA Mr. Pyke, don’t let all the hate filled DRIVEL from rival fans get to you and thanks to Luke for a CLASSY post, not like ALOT of rival fans of Tech.

BirdDog

August 5th, 2011
6:12 pm

Good job UGA! If the kids here don’t want to go to school in their home state then this is exactly what UGA has to do. There is plenty of opportunity to play early and often as an OL next year.

TampaGator

August 5th, 2011
6:14 pm

Dawgcrzy….

I think I said that…..but…..if I have to go with “if” with Brantley…..I am sure glad that if is riding with the QB coaching skills of one Charlie Weis….and Brantley throwing in pro formation instead of the spread. At least the “if” has some realistic value to it in that senario….don’t you think…..

By the way…..I think the SEC East is going to surprise some people this year….and the SEC might not make it to the NC game this year….because the best teams might lose more than 1 game this year. But, if so, I still think a 2 loss SEC team that wins the SEC championship game should still go the to NC game. The conference is just too good.

VA DAWG

August 5th, 2011
6:14 pm

Tampa…thats works for us…we’ll take Young and Pyke. GO DAWGS!

hotdawg

August 5th, 2011
6:15 pm

Give Will Friend a little credit on this one.

D.Ellis

August 5th, 2011
6:16 pm

Yeah and that QB he coached was so good as a starter last year, the very team that drafted him, went out drafted another 1 with that first pick the very next year. Go figure

My opinion is Charlie Weiss has credentials. He has super bowl rings. No sweat. I know that. I don’t think he is a bad coach by any means. He knows offense and knows it well. I also know that he hasn’t accomplished much since he left the Patriots….and since he left Tom Brady. Tom Brady is still Tom Brady even after Weiss left. Weiss has not exp. as much success without him. Just my opinion….prolly ain’t right but hey who is…it’s a blog

rm

August 5th, 2011
6:17 pm

The question for FL is will Weis and Muschamp even be able to be in the same room by the end of the season. Two type A personalities don’t play together well…

LakeDawg

August 5th, 2011
6:20 pm

Tampa Gator

I think I said that…and you are right that the east could surprise this year and make it tough on the west. I would take a 2 loss SEC champion over any other team in the nation. BTW UF is definately better off in the pro set. :)

TampaGator

August 5th, 2011
6:20 pm

DEllis…..

I am just a big SEC fan…..including Florida and Georgia. As I have stated many times….I was first a Bulldog fan growing up in South Georgia……and became a Gator while attending U of F. Still….I pull for and follow Georgia football…..when I am not following Florida football first. I just don’t tell my wife and kids…..(all big time Gator fans….but I think my wife knows of my continued interest in Georgia). If Florida doesn’t win the East the SEC…..I hope Georgia does……and for FSU to lose every single game they play….which isn’t going to happen now that Fisher is there, unfortunately. Maybe Saban will go back to the NFL soon and Fisher will go to Bama…..(well, maybe not such a good idea after all).

kerryb

August 5th, 2011
6:20 pm

Man. We are going to have the biggest tackles in the SEC. With Brawn being 330 lbs this future line is going to be huge.

italian_29

August 5th, 2011
6:21 pm

Tampa, you always have good insightful posts and being a realistic Dawg fan, I agree that if Brantley plays well this could be a GREAT season for you guys. TOO much talent down there for TOO many years to keep finishing with a losing record. I do think there will be some growing pains, switching your offensive scheme to make a HUGE difference in your record this year, it will be better, but next year you guys are going to be DANGEROUS. Good Luck this season, except in Jacksonville.

TampaGator

August 5th, 2011
6:24 pm

rm…..

Sorry……but Muschamp and Weis are already best of friends…..and the players love him……and Weis is so far done well with the media…..which has been his #1 issue. Muschamp is great with the media. So, I think you can forget that dream or wish.

rm

August 5th, 2011
6:29 pm

That’s until Weis says “Get in my belly!”

TampaGator

August 5th, 2011
6:30 pm

D. Ellis…..

I guess you did not follow his success in one year at KC…..last year…..when Weis went from Notre Dame to the Chiefs and single handedly turned a struggling QB….had a horrible year the previous year at KC…..and Weis came in and turned him into one of the top QBs in the NFL last year….and turned KC’s offense into one of the top offenses as well……all in one year..

I guess that is not accomplishing much…..I disagree…..and hope he will have the same type of impact on Brantley and the Gators offense this year……and…..if he does…..with the kind of defense the Gators are going to have this year….the Gators could be very dangerous to every team they play this year.

TampaGator

August 5th, 2011
6:33 pm

rm…..

is that going to be your story all year….belly and weight jokes. …and unable to come up with anything original or new? FYI….Charlie’s weight issue is tyroid and medically related….and not an issue of overeating……sort of like not being able to do anything about being born with 6 fingers on one hand.

TampaGator

August 5th, 2011
6:36 pm

Is it 7PM and Humphries time yet…….I am worried about a last minute change of heart. But I think he will be a Gator based on everything I have heard. Maybe the two other kids committing to the SEC will solidify him to the Gators this evening…..along with the recent move by NC….because their former HC was strong with him, too, as has be the new OL coach at Florida….but he could surprise and not pick either. Florida really needs his commit.

prison mike

August 5th, 2011
6:46 pm

“He loves the fact that it’s SEC football.”

See that’s why we want A and M. It would literally be over for college football as we know it.

Columbus

August 5th, 2011
6:47 pm

Tampa, UF just paid for Weis’ retirement in Florida. I know Weis is a great OC and I really am worried about him joining the staff than the head coach. But be realistic. It is a new system, new coaches, unproven players. Plenty of talent and speed that will need at least one year to get it together and UF will have a chance to win the East but it will not happen. WE had UF beat LAST year when you should have rolled over us. WE had 4 turnovers by our QB, 3 in regulation and UF STILL needed OT to win thanks to the 4th turnover they did, while UGA STILL could have won in regulation WITH the 3 turnovers. SO dream on. See you after the game in October. This is OUR year. NOT yours buddy. Deal with it. Too many new players and new changes at UF. it takes time when the returning guys were already BEHIND THE CURVE, especially QB

Tampa is right

August 5th, 2011
6:52 pm

Chalie Weis’s offense took Kansas City to the playoffs last year the man isnt a great head coach but is one of the top 3 OC’s in all of football. And at the same time we have Mike Bobo calling the shots who is arguably the worst of all OC’s in college football. I am Dawg fan but I believe Florida is going to have a much better year than people think. Unless Richt calls the plays this season we will be in trouble in close games.

JAWJeRDAWG

August 5th, 2011
6:54 pm

Huge pickup for UGA, both in position-of-need and in physical statue! Keep those biguns coming, Coach Frien
d. .. Go Dawgs!

Enter your comments here

italian_29

August 5th, 2011
6:56 pm

Man Colombus, cut Tampa a break, he already said that if Fl didn’t win the East he wanted UGA to. Why not be civil? I don’t think he EVER said that this was their time, he just quoted one of our former player’s opinion and attached a BIG if to it.

BG

August 5th, 2011
6:59 pm

Great News! GATA!!

italian_29

August 5th, 2011
7:02 pm

@ Tampa is Right, I don’t think that it COMPLETELY fair to call Bobo the WORST OC in College football, his calls drive me CRAZY sometimes, but the man does produce. I mean we averaged right at 30 points a game last year and have been pretty consistently at our near that mark for the entire time Bobo has been the OC.